What Can Menstrual Blood Reveal about Health and Disease?

Emma Yasinski in Undark:

It’s “appalling” that more scientists — whether they’re studying endometriosis or not — aren’t studying menstrual blood, which contains a combination of blood and tissue that lines the uterus, said Metz. Researchers routinely examine salivamouth tissueskin, and even teeth, looking for clues about health and disease. By contrast, said Metz, menstrual effluent has been neglected.

Metz is one of a handful of scientists worldwide studying menstrual blood; these researchers are looking into its potential as a diagnostic marker for diabetes, gynecologic diseases, and even toxic exposures. Because the work is still new, it could be years, even decades, before any findings influence clinical care. For now, however, the researchers are challenging the conventional view that menstrual blood is merely a waste product. Instead, they said, careful examination of this biological specimen may yield important insights into health and disease.

More here.